a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew


Posted by Thomas Nephew on November 6th, 2002

Ehrlich is giving his acceptance speech for Governor of Maryland just now. I’m realizing I did not do anywhere near enough to stop that or the likely Senate recapture by the Republicans. I voted (Townsend, Van Hollen), I gave some money, but I didn’t volunteer locally, I guess mainly because I thought Townsend was a lock until recently, and Morella and Van Hollen seemed oddly indistinguishable. Van Hollen seemed too much of a “I have an international policy background, and we need to work with everyone” guy for me, which is why I voted Shriver in the primary — who at least didn’t say that.

Maybe it’s the last several places I’ve lived that got me out of the habit of really getting into “local” politics. California was too big a state for me to feel I mattered there; locally, I generally felt out of step with the self-anointed progressive supermajority of the Bay Area. Then a two-year stint in Ann Arbor, Michigan, spent chiefly trying to stay warm with my coffee-glazed eyes glued to an avalanche of books or papers. Then several years among the disenfranchised voters of D.C., resigned to the political environment of 1) Mayor Barry and 2) the “peculiar institution,” shall we say, of D.C.’s status in the United States. (More on that another time.) Now I suppose I feel a bit out of step with my new home town, Takoma Park,* a place with lots of Green Party lawn signs, earnest discussions of mass transit and development, and general goodthink.

But those are lame excuses. I meant to get more involved in politics and campaigns when I moved to Maryland. I did a bit of Gore work in 2000. It’s a little late to put up this time around, so for now I’ll shut up. Grudging congratulations to Ehrlich. The gun folk must be very happy, how nice for them.

But the main thing is that the Senate is going to be Republican again. Why anybody gave a flip about Jeb Bush with the Senate teetering like this is beyond me. McAuliffe’s got to go.


*Revealed at last!

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